Steps to Reclaiming Wellsite

Reclamation generally begins once the well and all surface facilities have been decommissioned. The stages of the reclamation process include:

Environmental site assessment (ESA): We conduct an ESA to understand if contaminants are present and where they may be located in the soil or groundwater. We review information available in government records, visit the site and interview the landowner and/or occupant. This work may begin before a well is decommissioned. Many sites will be found to have no contamination concerns and will proceed directly to the reclamation stage after assessment.

An electromagnetic survey may be conducted to understand conditions, without the need to take samples. Soil samples that can indicate surface, subsurface or potential groundwater impacts may be collected by hand or with a small drilling rig. More than one round of samples are analyzed, if necessary. This work can take a year or more to complete.

Remediation: Contaminants are managed and removed, following AER and AEP requirements. Contaminated soil may be hauled to a landfill and then replaced with clean soil, or may be treated onsite until it meets AEP guidelines.

Reclamation: Once remediation is complete, the site must be reclaimed so that the land returns to how it looked and was used (or similarly) before oil and gas development took place. This may involve recontouring the subsoil, replacing the topsoil, and re-establishing the vegetation. It may take up to five years or more for the site to re-vegetate and be ready for the detailed site assessment required for a reclamation certificate application.

The actual time required to obtain a reclamation certificate depends on the land use, type of vegetation and factors that affect growing conditions, such as amount of rainfall.

Certification: The OWA applies for a reclamation certificate from the AER. Once received, the land can be used as it was before the oil or gas facilities were there.

If you have questions about reclamation the OWA is progressing on your land, please leave your contact details at (403) 297-6416  or email us at An Environmental Coordinator will contact you, but with increased activities, it may take up to ten business days to respond to your inquiry.